The Link Between Seas and Dreams

I want to talk about the way I’m feeling right now, but the fact is, I’m depressed for reasons that don’t seem substantial to me. That’s how depression is. It’s often out of proportion with the levels of sadness you are feeling versus the adversity you are actually facing. Depression lies, is what I’m saying.

So instead of dwelling on that nowhere thought, I’m gonna confess something to you. I’ve been trying for over twenty five years to tell stories set in a ‘universe’ that is so big and unwieldy, I keep overwhelming myself with the details and getting nowhere. That’s the Link Continuum. It’s huge. It’s fun to think about, but it’s very hard for me to put into words without getting caught up in the minutiae of the regular cast of characters and all of the irregulars, many of whom I haven’t thought seriously about in over a decade. I have novel synopses and plot lines drawn up for four LINK novels I’ll probably never write, because they’re far too precious and clever to really engage anyone but myself. I might write them as comedy instead. I don’t know. I’ve let so much time pass since I first started working on them, that instead of writing them as I still more or less remember them in my head, I just borrow concepts from them and adapt them to my other novels, and then pretend I’m not actually trying to find a way to introduce the novels in the midst of a larger body of work that will just make them seem like interesting asides.

My friend Rodney accused me once of writing nothing but Link novels in disguise. He’s familiar enough with the Link Worlds ethos, having worked with them himself, that he recognizes the fingerprints, even if the characters and the genres and everything else are all different. The thing is, I don’t often admit it to myself, but it’s basically true.

Ashes is a Link Constellation series. Sure, it was originally a thinly-veiled Farscape fanfic tale, but it was a very distant relation at best, and had more Link stuff than Farscape stuff in it, so I took it back, once I realized what I was doing.

Dream Job and Dreamtropolis Fallen are also Link Constellation pieces, which makes Passage to Bujah and the current novel, The Constant Sea of Night, also part of that, in a prequel fashion. Dreamtropolis Fallen even uses characters and plot devices I originally dreamed up for Metropolis Fallen, which was another attempt to tell a story involving the Marx Brothers and a hapless heroine. This originally took place in Link: Facet, the story of Miranda, whose job it is to rebalance the forces of Order and Chaos in the first trilogy, which I plotted back in college as a sort of prequel to the very first novel I started working on back in high school, called Another Fine Mess (some of you may know this as a famous catch phrase of Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame; my links to classic cinema run deep). Ægypt was another such dream, and also got lumped into that early concept for MetFall, in the guise of the Great Pyramid Project, which reappears in Dream Job and Dreamtropolis Fallen.

Sterling Carcieri is another part of this equation. I won’t give it all away, but he’s tied up in this series as well (Hint: When is a door not a door?). I apologize in advance.

Tales of Euroboros, such as The Bride of War and the Sygneria trilogy I’m planning to follow it with, are part of the same series as well. It’s complicated. The Dark Guild, the novella I wrote for the first Link Worlds RPG book, Link: West, is obviously a Link Worlds thing, as are the series of Link Worlds I plan on adapting from our old RPG plans to a slightly more pedestrian board game concept. I also publish short stories and novellas under the Link Tales moniker, an outgrowth of The Bride of War.

Zoe has been a star of both the original Link Trilogy and of the Sunday Afternoon Matinée for decades. All those comics… all those cards… yup. Link Worlds. Didn’t you notice how she kept changing shape and size?

The Sunday Afternoon Matinée worlds are all Decay Worlds, which means they’re all Link Worlds. I guess I should have said so a long time ago.

And that just leaves Richard Burley’s Dreams of New York City, and the several short stories and novellas, plus one full sized epic tome, that I’ve written for him. Surely he’s not caught up in this mess.

Well…

There is also a recurring character who pops in and out of the Link Continuum mythos (as it exists in my head), simply called the Author. He’s sort of my alter ego , and more than passingly Gary Stu-ish, which is unfortunate, because he’s also my favourite of three or four attempts to pay homage to The Doctor, whom most of my friends know I am a huge fan of. I even finally started a short story ‘TV series’ for the Author. The thing is, the Author’s past doesn’t get explored much. Except in my head. It took me a long time to figure out, but I think I know who the Author really is, and how he got to be the way he is. And I had no idea when I created him that he would be this other person, also an alter ego, that I’d created to tell more mundane stories peppered with vignettes and details from my own unwritten autobiography. So go figure.

I guess what I’m saying is, other than some short stories that may or may not be related, I haven’t really written much of anything that isn’t a Link novel in one guise or another. It’s basically my life’s work. I just hope I get some of it done before I die. Would be a shame not to tell at least the best bits.

Lee.

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.

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